Appeal from County Civil Court at Law No. 3 Harris County,
Texas Trial Court Case No. 1006033
consists of Justices Higley, Bland, and Brown.
Carter Higley Justice
Quoc Pham, appellee, sued Aletha Chapman, appellant, in a
Harris County small claims court, claiming property damage
caused by Chapman. Pham appealed the small claims court's
take-nothing judgment to a Harris County civil court at law.
Chapman now appeals the judgment rendered against her in that
In two issues, Chapman argues that the county court at law
lacked jurisdiction because Pham did not timely appeal the
justice court's judgment and that the county court at
law's judgment exceeded the court's jurisdictional
limits. We affirm.
filed suit against Chapman in a Harris County small claims
court in July 2011. Pham alleged damage to his condominium
unit following a leak in Chapman's upstairs condominium
unit. The small claims court rendered a take-nothing judgment
against Pham on November 29, 2011.
December 8, 2011, the small claims court transferred to the
county court $197, identified as "plaintiff's cash
appeal bond." Pham retained an attorney to represent him
in the county court. Chapman briefly did the same. After a
trial, the county court rendered a judgment in favor of Pham.
The court awarded $6, 900 in actual damages, $5, 000 in
attorneys' fees, and court costs.
Chapman's issues challenge the county court at law's
subject-matter jurisdiction. We review issues challenging a
trial court's jurisdiction de novo. Tex. Dept. of
Parks & Wildlife v. Miranda, 133 S.W.3d 217, 226
of Justice Court Judgment
first issue, Chapman argues that the county court lacked
jurisdiction over Pham's appeal of the small claims
court's judgment because Pham did not timely perfect
appeal to the county court. The rule applicable at the time
Pham appealed to the county court required a bond to be paid
within ten days of the judgment being signed. Tex.R.Civ.P.
571, 53 Tex. B.J. 589, 605 (Tex. 1990, repealed 2013). The
small claims court signed its judgment on November 29, 2011.
Chapman argues that Pham's bond was not filed until
December 14, 2011, outside of the ten-day window. We
record, as ordered to be supplemented by this Court, shows
that the small claims court submitted to the county clerk-the
clerk for the county court-Pham's appeal bond on December
8, 2011. This indicates that Pham paid his appeal bond on or
before the 8th, within the ten-day window of the signing of
the small claims court's judgment.
document that established the cash bond was transferred is
file stamped December 14, 2011. This is the date that the
document was formally filed in the county clerk's
records. It is not the ...